In response to a CMS request for information on ways to reduce administration burdens in health care, the American Medical Group Association and the Medical Group Management Association each submitted comments urging the agency to streamline and accelerate the transition to value-based care. Both groups advised the CMS to reduce the number of quality measures for health care providers participating in value-based care models and to create more consistent waivers and rules across value-based care programs.
Race makes no difference in the quality of coronary surgical care rendered under Tricare, according to a study in Health Affairs. Researchers analyzed prescriptions of statins and beta blockers and 30-day readmission rates after coronary artery bypass grafting and found no differences between African American and white patients using Tricare, suggesting that the program may be a model for other health programs, lead author Muhammad Ali Chaudhary said.
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Physician and hospital groups and accountable care organizations offered support and concerns about a CMS plan to require hospitals to tell primary care physicians when their patients are admitted to, transferred or discharged from the hospital. Physician concerns include data overload while hospitals are concerned about the penalty for failing to provide the information.
More large employers are expected to back away from offering high-deductible health plans coupled with health savings accounts next year, and instead provide employees with more plan choices, according to a survey from the National Business Group on Health. To reduce costs and improve health care quality, employers are shifting their focus to improving primary care, and about half of them said they plan to implement at least one advanced primary care strategy next year, which include steering patients to physician-based accountable care organizations, providing on-site care services or offering nontraditional virtual care services.
Software that graphs wound dimensions over time in a patient's EHR enabled timely treatment that improved the healing rate by more than 46% over the pre-study average for patients with open sores caused by chronic venous insufficiency, researchers reported in the Journal for Vascular Surgery: Venous and Lymphatic Disorders. Health care teams used an infographic to track wound closure progress instead of relying only on clinician notes and found the system wasn't any more time-consuming than standard visit documentation but led to better longitudinal results, vascular surgeon Ulka Sachdev said.
The University of Michigan's health system has 34 artificial intelligence and machine learning research projects underway, and most are multidisciplinary efforts, says Michigan Medicine Chief Information Officer Andrew Rosenberg. Projects include analyzing EHR and electrocardiography data to predict acute hemodynamic instability and using machine learning to predict hospital patients' risk of Clostridium difficile infection.
A panel of three judges from the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed a prior court decision and reinstated a 2017 rule that requires payments from Medicare and private health insurance providers to be included in the calculation of Medicaid disproportionate share hospital reimbursement limits. Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson said the decision aligns with the objective of the Medicaid Act, and it will ensure "that DSH payments will go to hospitals that have been compensated least and are thus most in need."
California data show acute-care hospitals in the state spent less than half the amount of money on charity care in 2017 than in 2013. The decrease was attributed to the Affordable Care Act, which expanded insurance coverage to millions of Californians so hospitals are seeing fewer patients who cannot pay for care.
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Researchers have developed the first risk model to predict in-hospital stroke after transcatheter aortic valve replacement using data from the STS/ACC TVT Registry. The study, published in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, provides a benchmark for the rate and relevant patient factors for in-hospital stroke post TAVR. Researchers conclude that the "model is a valuable resource for patient counseling, clinical decision making, quality improvement, and the development and implementation of risk-reduction strategies." Find more registry news on ACC.org.
In actual fact, contemplation is not a form of inactivity but an exercise.
Antoni Tapies, artist, art theorist
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